A supermarket worker found murdered in an alleyway on Easter Sunday may have been killed because he was gay, a court heard this week.

Shaun Fitzpatrick, 32, was found dead on March 23rd 2008 in an alleyway in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

Two men, Andrius Dunauskas, 23, and Raminas Balseris, 26, are being tried for his murder at Dungannon crown court.

This week, the court heard that when Mr Fitzpatrick’s body was found, he had been beaten so savagely paramedics thought he had been shot.

Mr Dunauskas and Mr Balseris both blame each other for the murder.

They had been drinking at the same bar as Mr Fitzpatrick on the night of the killing and Mr Dunauskas had allegedly tried to hit the deceased but was stopped by friends.

The pair later walked home together and spotted Mr Fitzpatrick walking ahead of them.

Mr Balseris claimed that Mr Dunauskas had then hit and kicked the victim. He told police that Mr Fitzpatrick was gay, and that “he [Mr Dunauskas] didn’t like gays”.

Mr Dunauskas admits punching Mr Fitzpatrick, but claims Mr Balseris kicked the dead man in the head.

Mr Balseris denies taking part in the attack and claims he tried to stop his friend.

Prosecutor Stephen Fowle QC told the court that both men had taken part in the attack and that there was clear forensic evidence to link them to the murder.

The trial continues.